New CDC Campaign Urges Latinos to Speak Up About HIV
We Can Stop HIV One Conversation at a Time inspires open discussion
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today launched the We Can Stop HIV One Conversation at a Time campaign, a new national, bilingual communication campaign that encourages Latinos to talk openly about HIV with their families and friends. Although more than 220,000 Latinos are living with the virus, studies have found that many in the community do not talk openly about HIV risk, prevention, or testing.
“Latino leaders and community members agree that the stigma surrounding HIV creates a deafening silence. The reality is that HIV doesn’t go away when you don’t talk about it. This is a virus that thrives on secrecy and shame,” said Eugene McCray, M.D., director of CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention. “The We Can Stop HIV One Conversation at a Time campaign aims to drive HIV out of the shadows.”
Developed with input from Latinos across the country and key Latino community organizations, the English and Spanish-language campaign materials feature a culturally diverse group of men and women talking openly about a range of HIV-related topics, including the impact of the epidemic within the Latino community, risk factors, and the importance of HIV testing.
The national campaign will reach millions of Latinos across the nation through online, print media, transit, and billboard advertising, as well as social media outreach. Partnerships with leading Latino-serving media outlets and organizations will help amplify bilingual campaign messages. The campaign will be featured this weekend at the People en Español Festival in San Antonio, TX and continue to be promoted at upcoming community events, including a September 4 event hosted in conjunction with Tr3s in New York City.
“Many Latinos don’t talk about HIV – it’s just not something many of us are comfortable talking about,” said recording artist and campaign spokesman Henry Santos. “I’m proud to help break the silence – we all have to start speaking up so we can stop HIV.”
Latinos make up 16 percent of the U.S. population and account for 21 percent of new HIV infections each year. Research has shown that open communication about HIV increases knowledge about HIV risk, prevention, and testing. However, many Latinos are not having these important conversations, possibly because cultural norms foster silence about topics like sex. A recent study found that only about half of Latinos have talked with friends and family about HIV in the past year, and another found that even when Latinos are ready to talk about HIV, many do not have the information they need to have these life-saving conversations with loved ones.
We Can Stop HIV One Conversation at a Time is the latest campaign of CDC’s Act Against AIDS initiative, a national communication campaign to combat complacency about the HIV/AIDS crisis in the United States. The campaign helps advance the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, which calls for reducing new infections, reducing stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV, and educating Americans about the threat of HIV and how to prevent it. Other elements of the Act Against AIDS initiative that reach Latinos include Reasons/Razones, a national, bilingual campaign for gay and bisexual Latinos and Let’s Stop HIV Together/Detengamos Juntos el VIH, a national HIV awareness and anti-stigma campaign for all Americans.
For more information about We Can Stop HIV One Conversation at a Time, please visit www.cdc.gov/OneConversation.